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Zenaida Yanowsky

Principal of The Royal Ballet

Biography

Zenaida Yanowsky in action.
Zenaida Yanowsky as The Chosen One in The Rite of Spring © ROH / Bill Cooper, 2013

Zenaida Yanowsky is a Principal of The Royal Ballet. She joined the Company as a First Artist in 1994 and was promoted to Soloist in 1996, First Soloist in 1999 and Principal in 2001. Her many roles include Odette/Odile (Swan Lake), Marguerite, Manon, Natalia Petrovna (A Month in the Country) and Principal roles in 'Rubies' (Jewels), Apollo and In the Night. She has created roles for choreographers including Kim Brandstrup, Will Tuckett, Alexei Ratmansky and Christopher Wheeldon, creating for Wheeldon the Queen of Hearts (Alice's Adventures in Wonderland) and Paulina (The Winter's Tale).

Yanowsky was born in Lyon, France. Both of her parents were dancers with Lyon Opera Ballet, and as a child she often accompanied them on tour. The family settled in Las Palmas, Gran Canaria, and she trained at the dance school established by her parents. After winning a silver medal at Varna in 1991, she joined Paris Opera Ballet. Further awards included gold medals at the 1993 European Young Dancers Competition and the 1994 Jackson International Ballet Competition.

Yanowsky has danced in two short dance films, Duet and The Sandman, for Channel 4, and in the BBC's Riot at the Rite. She has collaborated with Claire Barclays and Will Tuckett on an installation in the Whitechapel Gallery, and danced in a short film choreographed by Tuckett for the Matisse Cut-Outs exhibition at Tate Modern. Two of Yanowsky's siblings are also dancers: her older brother Yury is a principal with Boston Ballet and younger sister Nadia a soloist with Dutch National Ballet.

Videos

News and features

Your Reaction: Ashton Mixed Programme 2014

Your Reaction: Ashton Mixed Programme 2014

22 October 2014

Audience comments from the first night of works by Frederick Ashton, including Scènes de ballet and Symphonic Variations.

Watch: Kim Brandstrup’s short dance film Leda and the Swan

Watch: Kim Brandstrup’s short dance film Leda and the Swan

14 October 2014

Myth-inspired film stars Zenaida Yanowsky, Tommy Franzen and Fiona Shaw.

Watch: Sarah Lamb, Laura Morera and Zenaida Yanowsky on returning to the role of Manon

Watch: Sarah Lamb, Laura Morera and Zenaida Yanowsky on returning to the role of Manon

10 October 2014

Royal Ballet Principals talk about the significance of Manon in their careers and the acting skills it demands of a dancer.

Zenaida Yanowsky and Will Tuckett create new work for Tate Modern’s cinema relay of Matisse Live

Zenaida Yanowsky and Will Tuckett create new work for Tate Modern’s cinema relay of Matisse Live

20 May 2014

The new piece, screened as part of Tate’s cinema relay, was inspired by Matisse’s dance cut-outs.

Your reaction: Alice's Adventures in Wonderland

Your reaction: Alice's Adventures in Wonderland

16 March 2013

Audience tweets about the return of Christopher Wheeldon's fantastical ballet.

Zenaida Yanowsky receives Spanish Dance Award

Zenaida Yanowsky receives Spanish Dance Award

21 November 2012

Royal Ballet Principal recognized for her talent in both contemporary and classical dance.

Photos

Christopher Wheeldon and Zenaida Yanowsky in rehearsal for The Winter's Tale © ROH/Johan Persson, 2014

Zenaida Yanowsky and Rupert Pennefather in A Month in the Country © ROH/Tristram Kenton 2014

Zenaida Yanowsky as Paulina in The Winter's Tale, The Royal Ballet, © ROH / Johan Persson 2014

Edward Watson as Polixenes, Zenaida Yanowsky as Paulina and Dancers of The Royal Ballet in The Winter's Tale, The Royal Ballet, © ROH / Johan Persson 2014

Zenaida Yanowsky as Manon in Kenneth Macmillan's Manon, The Royal Ballet, © ROH / Bill Cooper, 2005

Zenaida Yanowsky as Manon in Kenneth Macmillan's Manon, The Royal Ballet, © ROH / Bill Cooper, 2005

Zenaida Yanowsky as Manon and Gary Avis as the Gaoler in Kenneth Macmillan's Manon, The Royal Ballet, © ROH / Bill Cooper, 2005

Zenaida Yanowsky as The Chosen One in The Rite of Spring © ROH / Bill Cooper, 2013

Zenaida Yanowsky in rehearsals for Alice's Adventures in Wonderland © ROH/Johan Persson, 2011

Zenaida Yanowsky as The Chosen One in The Rite of Spring © ROH / Bill Cooper, 2013

Zenaida Yanowsky as The Chosen One in The Rite of Spring © ROH / Bill Cooper, 2013

Zenaida Yanowsky as The Chosen One in The Rite of Spring © ROH / Bill Cooper, 2013

Zenaida Yanowsky, Will Tuckett and Nehemiah Kish in The Royal Ballet's Swan Lake © ROH/Bill Cooper

Nehemiah Kish and Zenaida Yanowsky in Swan Lake © Bill Cooper

Zenaida Yanowsky and Nehemiah Kish in In the Night, The Royal Ballet © ROH/Tristram Kenton, 2012

Zenaida Yanowsky

Thiago Soares and Zenaida Yanowsky in Las Hermanas © Bill Cooper/ROH

Genesia Rosato, Zenaida Yanowsky and Alastair Marriott in Les Noces © Dee Conway/ROH 2004

Thiago Soares and Zenaida Yanowsky rehearsing Las Hermanas © ROH 2012

Thiago Soares and Zenaida Yanowsky in Las Hermanas. © Bill Cooper / ROH 2012

Zenaida Yanowsky as the Red Queen in Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland © Johan Persson/ROH 2011

Zenaida Yanowsky as the Red Queen in Alice's Adventures in Wonderland © Johan Persson/ROH 2011

Eric Underwood and Zenaida Yanowsky in DGV: Danse à Grande Vitesse, The Royal Ballet © ROH / Bill Cooper 2011

Eric Underwood and Zenaida Yanowsky in DGV © ROH / Bill Cooper 2011

Zenaida Yanowsky as Marguerite and Federico Bonelli as Armand in Marguerite and Armand © Tristram Kenton/ROH 2011

Zenaida Yanowsky as Marguerite and Federico Bonelli as Armand in Marguerite and Armand © Tristram Kenton/ROH 2011

Zenaida Yanowsky as Marguerite in Marguerite and Armand © Tristram Kenton/ROH 2011

Zenaida Yanowsky as Marguerite and Artists of The Royal Ballet in Marguerite and Armand © Tristram Kenton/ROH 2011

Zenaida Yanowsky as Marguerite and Artists of The Royal Ballet in Marguerite and Armand © Tristram Kenton/ROH 2011

Zenaida Yanowsky as Natalia Petrovna and Rupert Pennefather as Beliaev in A Month in the Country © Dee Conway/ROH 2008

Zenaida Yanowsky as Natalia Petrovna and Rupert Pennefather as Beliaev in A Month in the Country © Dee Conway/ROH 2008

Zenaida Yanowsky as Natalia Petrovna and Rupert Pennefather as Beliaev in A Month in the Country © Dee Conway/ROH 2008

Zenaida Yanowsky as Natalia Petrovna and Gary Avis as Rakitin in A Month in the Country © Dee Conway/ROH 2008

Zenaida Yanowsky as Natalia Petrovna and Rupert Pennefather as Beliaev in A Month in the Country © Dee Conway/ROH 2008

Carlos Acosta, Zenaida Yanowsly, Sarah Lamb and dancers of The Royal Ballet in Rubies as part of Jewels © Johan Persson/ROH 2007

Zenaida Yanowsky in Rubies as part of Jewels © Johan Persson/ROH 2007